A Message for the UNLV Community from President Neal Smatresk
This morning I held the first town hall meeting to discuss the impact of Governor Sandoval’s proposed budget cuts on UNLV. In my analysis of this situation, I looked at the figures proposed in the governor’s budget.
Here they are:
- Fiscal Year 2011 state appropriation $172.5 million
- Fiscal Year 2013 state appropriation $125 million
This amounts to a cut of $47.5 million or 27.5 percent of our budget in the next two years.
To put this into further perspective, UNLV has already seen a $49.6 million loss in funding since 2007 – about 27 percent in the last four years. When you add the actual cuts we’ve already experienced to the proposed cuts, the cumulative amount is a potential loss of 52.5 percent of our funding – a staggering $97.1 million – in a six-year period.
The level of this cut is almost unimaginable in terms of the consequences it would have on UNLV and higher education in Nevada. The effects of the proposed cuts would be devastating to our mission: providing the educated work force necessary for the prosperity of our region, building a healthier and more diversified economy, and helping those who dream of a better life through higher education.
As members of the university community, it is important that we all understand the gravity of our budget situation and become knowledgeable about the legislative process and UNLV’s impact on Southern Nevada. I encourage you to visit the website http://www.unlv.edu/budget to learn more about UNLV’s many contributions to the local economy and community. The site also has links so you can identify and contact your elected representatives.
I hope you will also be able to attend the Nevada Legislature’s town hall meeting on the proposed state budget tomorrow, Jan. 29, 2011, at the Grant Sawyer State Building, 555 E. Washington Ave., Room 4401. The meeting will start at 9 a.m., and CSUN is encouraging UNLV students, faculty, and staff to arrive at 8 a.m. to rally as “Rebels United Against Higher Education Cuts.”
This is just the beginning of a long budgeting process. I am committed to communicating the importance of the university to state leaders, and I urge you to speak up as well. We cannot be silent at this critical time.
Neal J. Smatresk, President